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Salima District Council to plant 1.5 million trees in the 2022/2023 Tree Planting Season

By Fostina Mkandawire

District Forestry Officer for Salima, Adam Jason, has disclosed the district intends to plant 1.5 million trees during the 2022/23 Tree Planting Season.

Jason revealed the district plan on Friday during the launch of Salima District Tree Planting Season at Lifidzi Primary School in Traditional Authority Kambwiri in the district.

He said the district has been experiencing weather shocks such as strong winds and floods which have affected households because roofs have been blown off and people have lost property.

“The geographical terrain of the district requires us to up-scale tree planting because the intensity at which winds are blowing is alarming.

“For the past two years, the district has been reporting disasters caused by strong winds,” he said.

According to Jason, the target are schools because most of them do not have enough trees to offer shield to pupils and also act as windbreakers, which exposes most schools to strong winds which blow off roofs.

Manthepa advises communities to tame their livestocks

The forestry officer, therefore, expressed the need for collective efforts among different sectors in the district to up-scale tree-planting and tree-management interventions.

He added that they have put in place different monitoring mechanisms to enhance survival of the planted tree seedlings.

“We are working closely with chiefs, schools and community structures such as our extension workers so that at community level they can be nurturing the planted trees for increased survival rate,” Jason.

He further disclosed that 70 per cent of trees planted in 2021/2022 planting season survived, a development he described as encouraging, saying there is hope that in the current tree planting season, the trees can do even better than last year’s.

The theme for the district’s tree planting season is “Restore degraded forest landscape for livelihood security.”

Meanwhile, Councilor for Lipimbi Ward, Ephraim Manthepa, has advised local leaders to come up with by-laws that will help in protecting the newly planted trees following complaints on domestic animals destroying seedlings last year.

In her remarks, Headmistress for Lifidzi Primary School, Felistas Komwa, commended Salima District Forestry Office for planting trees at the school during last year’s tree planting season, saying a classroom block was blown off by strong winds, which forced pupils to start learning under trees’ shade.

“W are now mobilising resources to reroof the classroom block, something that is not easy for us because it was not budgeted for in our short-term plans,” she said.

Komwa further said they assign a student to each tree planted so that they should be nurturing and caring for them (the trees) to improve survival rate.

The tree planting exercise was supported by Assemblies of God Care and Ripple Africa.

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